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Object-Based Learning (OBL) in the Cultural Heritage Sector of Aotearoa New Zealand

Examine the impact of object-based learning within the stimulating learning environments of culture and heritage contexts.

Two young girls looking closely and pointing excitedly at a Moa egg in a glass case within the Te Taiao Nature exhibition at Te Papa Tongarewa

Object-Based Learning (OBL) in the Cultural Heritage Sector of Aotearoa New Zealand

  • 3 weeks

  • 2 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Identify the advantages of object-based learning in cultural heritage contexts

Object-based learning is an active learning method that uses collections to inspire critical thinking, analysis, and deeper cultural understanding.

On this three-week course from Te Pū Tiaki Mana Taonga and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, you’ll learn how OBL can enrich learning experiences in culture and heritage contexts and identify strategies to embed effective object-based learning in your setting.

Learn how to set up handling collections and touch tours using OBL

You’ll begin by examining the concept of object-based learning, thinking critically about how objects can help us learn.

You’ll reflect on the benefits of OBL within culture and heritage contexts and learn how handling collections and touch tours can add extra dimensions to your educational provision.

Explore the unique aspects of Māori artefacts

On this course, you’ll delve into the fascinating bicultural context of the taonga Māori, or Māori artefacts.

You’ll reflect on what sets taonga Māori apart from other cultural artefacts and the sensitivities and understanding needed when working with such collections.

This understanding will help inform OBL activity design and deliver new perspectives on how to approach using Māori artefacts with learners.

Enrich teaching and learning opportunities within the culture and heritage sector

There are several pedagogical approaches that can help enhance OBL design.

You’ll investigate each approach in turn and consider how to use them in effective OBL in your setting.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to demonstrate an understanding of OBL and plan new strategies for embedding OBL practices in your own context. You’ll be able to identify the unique features of taonga Māori and discuss how to use OBL to enhance the experience of your learners.

What topics will you cover?

  • What Object-based learning is
  • How to build and use handling collections
  • What is unique about teaching and learning with Taonga Māori
  • A range of different pedagogical approaches that can enhance Object-based learning

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate understanding of Object-based learning
  • Reflect on the uniqueness of taonga Māori for teaching and learning
  • Present ideas for ways to use different pedagogical approaches to enhance Object-based learning
  • Contribute ideas for using handling collections

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for educators working in the culture and heritage sector in Aotearoa New Zealand. It’s also suitable for educators in other parts of the world who are interested in exploring wider cultural contexts within this sector.

Learners should have a basic familiarity with the way culture and heritage organisations work and understand basic principles of teaching and learning before taking this course.

Who will you learn with?

Learning Specialist Sector Capability for Te Pū Tiaki Mana Taonga, The Association of Educators Beyond the Classroom in Aotearoa, based at Te Papa Tongarewa, The Museum of New Zealand.

Who developed the course?

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Te Papa’s vision for the future is to change hearts, minds, and lives.

Our role is to be a forum for the nation to present, explore, and preserve the heritage of its cultures and knowledge of the natural environment. Te Papa was established with this role by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Act 1992.

  • Established

  • Location

    Wellington, Aotearoa (New Zealand)

Te Pū Tiaki Mana Taonga (TPTMT)

Te Pū Tiaki Mana Taonga Association of Educators Beyond the Classroom is the professional Association of educators working in the cultural and heritage space in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Association, formerly known as the Museums Education Association of New Zealand (MEANZ), was refreshed in 2018 to encompass all educators working in the cultural and heritage space as well as reflecting that we are all kaitiaki of the taonga in our respective institutions.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save


Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$104/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 4 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

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  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
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Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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